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Brussels 6, U.s. 5, Damascus 4, Myanmar 4, Israel 4, Syria 4, Assad 3, Nicosia 2, Barack Obama 2, United Kingdom 2, Obama 2, Pakistan 2, Us 2, Guantanamo Bay 2, Europe 2, United States 1, Musharraf 1, Syrians 1, Moshe 1, Inoking 1,
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  LINKTV    Al Jazeera World News    News/Business. Independent global news  
   offers a variety of perspectives. (CC)  

    March 23, 2013
    7:00 - 7:30am PDT  

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>> a close ally of syria's president is buried. you are watching al jazeera live from our headquarters. also, crunch time in cyprus. politicians year of to deliver a bailout plan to eurozone finance ministers. theoken peace deal in central african republic. why rebel fighters are threatening to take the capital.
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the funeral of an influential supporter of the syrian president is taking place in damascus. he was a senior cleric, well known to syrians. he was killed in a suicide attack in a mosque on thursday. the government has blamed opposition fighters for the attack. we go live now to beirut. tell us about the funeral and how it went. very prominenta figure. oft to show how prominent, the most 500 influential muslims in the world, he is ranked 23rd. he is very highly regarded and considered an independent figure. that is why in his funeral, which you are looking at pictures of right now, most of those people who are speaking are very much giving him a lot of praise that you do not see
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for many other clerics. what makes it significant is that he is a sunni cleric of kurdish origin, and he still supports president assad, and he was a very big supporter of his presidents before him. their strong opponent to the muslim brotherhood in syria for many years. his assassination has been condemned not only by those who support the government but also those in the opposition politically. they praised him. they said he was an independent figure. they gave him credit, but they said they disagreed with him politically, but it does not make his chilling something they can bank. of course, it is a very controversial assassination because the suicide bomber who blew himself up -- he killed another 42 innocent civilians as well inside the mosque in the heart of damascus, and that is something that has made many
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people angry, we either they are supporters of the regime or the opposition. he was very influential and had a large following, especially from the suny community inside damascus and aleppo, and he gave those efforts a lot of legitimacy. he was someone who was considered very well respected. it is a big loss for president assad and his presidency. >> in a sense, you could say it is a big blow for president assad. on the other hand, you could say it is bolstering supporters. is that possible? >> the opposition -- some of the opposition accused assad of standing behind the opposition. in general, there is condemnation. even the united nations security
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council condemns the assassination. he was someone who spoke four languages -- english, arabic, turkish, kurdish. he traveled and was well regarded, and he always was very much into calling people for the unity of syria, for some kind of reconciliation. since the uprising in syria started, he was dedicated on where he stood. he was against armed rebellion. against themuch movement, and that is why he was very strongly criticized by many in the opposition in the past few years. >> thank you very much indeed. the president of cyprus will be heading to brussels to present international lenders with a new financial plan. finance ministers in the eurozone will meet sunday to consider his proposal. it follows a decision by
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parliament to pass several bills to help the country raise money. they include a massive restructuring of cypriot banks and tough new controls and financial transactions. they have also set up an emergency savings pot to cash in state assets and revenues. let's speak to peter sharp, who joins us now from nicosia. how much optimism is there that this plan might now succeed? >> i think people are a little more optimistic than they were 24 hours ago, but it has still got a course to run. place at now taking the finance ministry on the other side of nicosia, and there, the members of the troika -- the european central bank and the imf and european committee -- are meeting with the finance minister and his team, going of thee nuts and bolts deals and bills that were passed yesterday.
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one of two things is going to happen, and we are expecting it to run into the afternoon. the president and members of his political party will either go straight to the airport and fly to brussels where they will meet with the europe group -- that is the european finance ministers from the 17 nations in the eurozone -- and basically sign off on the deal, or the president and his team may go straight here to parliament where they will take a vote on it, and then i would -- it will be presented to be green lighted in brussels. we do not know if it will go straight to brussels or come straight here, but either way, the talks are continuing, and there is a hope that they will be able to come up with a deal before the banks are due to open on tuesday morning. >> it is incredibly unlikely that the eurozone would allow cyprus to collapse with the
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implication being that they will come up with some kind of support. european central bank made it pretty clear two days ago when they send a very strongly worded message to the president saying, "we are going to pull the plug on you guys at the end of monday before the bank's open on tuesday if you have not come up with the money." will no longer guarantee the emergency funding basically keeping those banks afloat. there will be a deal, but they are not giving anything away in brussels, and that was a very strong warning that they may face default on tuesday. the people here, the governor of the bank of cyprus is warning of social upheaval if that happens. large-scale loss of income for businesses and enterprises and any talk of returning to the cypriot town would only further
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devalued currency. >> the pakistani taliban has threatened to kill former president moshe are -- musharraf. he is planning to return to pakistan on sunday after four years in exile. the court has granted him projection, which guarantees he will not be arrested for at least 10 days. in -- another pakistani politician is holding a rally. the cricketer turned politician is planning to run in may's election. >> he has certainly mobilize the masses. it should not be forgotten that 80,000 office bearers who were elected recently are going to be taking their oath here today, so even if there were two key
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people joining each of those, it would be several hundred thousand people. he has certainly gained support because of his anti-drunk campaign. he was the only politician to go to north waziristan, but no one knows who will sweep the polls in the upcoming election. >> in bangladesh, the number of people killed has risen to 20. at least 200 more were injured when the storm ripped through villages in the east. the tornadoes destroyed many buildings and blew down a large number of trees. and a trillion and taken hostage in the philippines has been freed after 15 months. he was being held by an armed group near the southeast. he told police he was placed on a fishing vote by his captors and paddled his way to land. a joint effort by both countries help secure his release.
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myanmar because the government's -- rival groups armed with knives and sticks have been rioting over the last three days. several buildings including mosques have been set on fire. a peace deal between rebel fighters and the president of the central african republic is over. they had been moving towards the capital, saying they planned to take it. the group is an alliance of rebel movements. they accused the president of breaking the latest in a series of peace deals. they say he has once again failed to deliver on his promises. -- >> rebels are once again advancing and the capital of the central republic. 75january, they got kilometers from the capital. there was a red line separating them from a multinational force
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made up of soldiers from neighboring countries. they were closely watched by vatican trips on a disarmament mission. the central african republic is one of the world's poorest nations, despite being rich in mineral deposits. 5 million people live in the heart of the continent. rebels saidople the they are fighting for. a spokesman said they decided to act because of the worsening humanitarian situation, but the rebels also accused the president of breaking conditions of a january peace deal by not releasing political prisoners or lifting roadblocks. at the time, there was hope in a unity government, but the prime minister -- there have already been three failed peace deals and two flawed elections in two years, and if the rebels succeed in taking control, and to not be the first time they had
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overthrown the president. he himself came to power in a coup in 2003. >> freedom of speech in the spotlight. still ahead, where journalists worry.mar and the brazilian nightclub fire that killed more than 200 could have been avoided. find out how after the break. >> hello and welcome back. we have two major weather systems across europe. this one out towards the east, which we will come back to, and this one, which has been affecting the united kingdom. we should see things becoming largely dry as we move through into sunday, but not dry. a significant easterly wind, so a wind chill over the next few days, which makes it feel
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bitterly cold across much of the u.k. and indeed across much of the low countries. further east, that area of snow is still going, and it looks like a to will be affecting parts of ukraine, belarus, and southern parts of russia. northern ukraine could be seeing 60 centimeters of snow. as we come southward, and to looks more unsettled, and it extends across the other side of the mediterranean into northern parts of morocco and also algeria. of 30 inoking at highs tripoli. further south across central parts of africa, heavy rain across parts of somalia in towards ethiopia and also a few showers expected further west. i think we did see one or two showers, highs of 31 degrees. the heaviest rain is expected to cross angola and the democratic republic of congo.
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-- only on link tv. recap ofget a quick stores. the funeral of an influential supporter of the syrian president has taken place in damascus. he was a sunni cleric well known broadcasting on state tv every friday. he was killed on thursday in a bomb attack. the president of cyprus is expected to go to brussels on saturday to present international creditors with a new bailout proposal after parliament approve measures on friday to try to avoid bankruptcy and to get and you rescue package. in pakistan, supporters of the cricketer turned politician are holding a rally. the country is getting ready for a new election in may. barack obama is going to return
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to washington later on saturday, ending his middle east trip. on his visit, he promised the u.s. would continue to push for a two-state solution, but let many palestinians disappointed with what they say is a passive political posture on key issues, namely that tracking of his previous demand that israeli settlement building must stop immediately. palestinianthe national initiative says obama abandoning the initiative of settlement building is counterproductive. >> at the time, when the israeli expansion settlement policies are at their peak, and when israel has the most ,xtreme right wing government pointak position at this
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is not good for the solution he is calling for. it means that a petition of what we had here in the last 20 years, the peace process that as a substitute to peace, a peace process that is a cover to settlement expansion. also, he failed totally in recognizing the system of apartheid and the ground that is killing the possibility of a two-state solution. >> turkey and israel have restored full diplomatic relations after israel apologized for a raid three years ago. nine turks were killed. ties were severed until obama spoke of the apology during his trip to israel. five years after barack obama signed an order to close the u.s. military prison at guantanamo bay, it is about to
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expand it. the military is requesting 200 civilian dollars to upgrade the facility. obama first order barack gave as president was to close the military prison at guantanamo bay, cuba. five years later, the military wants nearly $200 million to renovate the naval base complex. >> these are things that we have to do right now. bem assuming guantanamo will closed sunday, but if we look into the past 11 years, it was supposed to be temporary. who knows where it is going? >> most of the money would build barracks for u.s. troops. it would also of great communications and legal facilities at the detention center. $49 million would go to build new detainee housing. administration officials say congress order not to transfer detainees to u.s. soil has tied their hands. 56 detainees already cleared to leave will not be released any time soon because the u.s. says
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there are still security concerns in their home countries. >> the united states will continue in its efforts to be transparent in its detention operations at guantanamo, including explaining specific practices and policies and the situation of those individuals who are detained. >> the military says a least 26 detainees have launched a hunger strike because they have realized they will be held at guantanamo for the foreseeable future. while closing guantanamo is still administration policy, the request to spill hundred million dollars of improvements means the complex will not be closing any time soon. >> brazilian police say a nightclub fire in january that killed 241 people could and should have been avoided. they are calling for the three co-owners to be charged with murder along with six others. >> the fire shocked brazilians
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and prompted three days of national mourning. now, nearly two months later, police said it was all avoidable. they say the fire was caused by a member of the band that was that night series use the cheap outdoor flare inside the building that quickly set the ceiling on fire. when he was unable to put out the flames, police say he could have warned people to get out, but he did not. people died because there was only one exit, and that was partially blocked. but the failings do not stop there. officers found that safety precautions were not up to standard, and were still, building inspectors were aware of this but failed to act. >> the legal documents for the nightclub were out of date. the ministry knew this, but no action was taken. no fine was imposed, nor was the
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club closed as it should have been. >> the fire was brazil's worst in 50 years, and many people demanded that those responsible be brought to justice. the police report calls for the three co-owners to be charged with murder and for a further 13 people to face prosecution. >> pope francis has arrived to meet his predecessor, the pope and marriages benedict -- people benedict.e emeritus let's check out the pictures there from the square outside where a crowd has been gathering to capture a glimpse of the two men, a glimpse of history, two popes meeting together. pope emeritus will move back
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to the vatican on what he calls live/journey, to live a simple life of a pilgrim. details were kept secret, but it could be they will discuss the vatican documents that were eaked last year, so two popes meeting together at the pope's summer residence. tens of thousands of people across the united kingdom have been without power because of severe weather. much of england and northern ireland were hit by early spring snow. the cold snap is disrupting travel with many roads closed. there has also been heavy rain causing 91 flood alerts to be issued. a severe drought in western india threatening the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people. many blame government officials for failing to provide them with water. in part three of our water pressure series.
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trying to beat the elements, he and his wife battle with the sun's rays to keep their only force of and come alive. poor rainfall and a dwindling water supply have practically brought the couple to their knees. a quarter of a million people like them have been affected. while there are other fields -- while other fields lie fallow, the pair have concentrated their efforts, but it comes at a high cost -- they have to borrow money to maintain their trees. they pay tankers to deliver water twice a day. >> we survived the food shortage of 1972. generations of my family have been working the land. we have no option but to make this crop a success or we will be ruined, and i have nothing else. >> shortages are a daily worry. this reservoir has dried up over the past seven years. poor rainfall and inadequate irrigation systems have surrendered acres of rich agricultural land on each side of the bank practically barren.
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as hard ased is concrete. crops have failed. those who invested all their savings in farming are regretting their decision. if you do not get water, how long are you willing to stay on this land and work it? >> i used to be a farm hand four years ago. the family decided we would buy land. we have been trying since, and it has all failed. if it fails again, we will have to leave the area and find work in the city. >> water from the dam should have been able to sustain severely affected areas in a 100-kilometer radius. 0 months ago, al jazeera saw the proposed channel. authorities admit their efforts are still inadequate. what is not enough to the area.
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>> last week, the central government allocated $218 million for a relief package of 34 districts. though it may come as welcome news for billions of farmers, they are hoping it will not be too late. myanmar's kevin is due to meet with journalists on saturday to discuss new media laws -- myanmar's government. some say the draft bill could undo the recent reforms. in myanmar is continuing to involve. mainly campaigners for freedom have been released from detention. an increasing number of journalists are on hand to report what they say, free of any prior censorship, but they are worried about proposals for new media laws. they say freedom of speech will be stifled just like it was by the previous military governments. tothis will bring us back square one. it is a made up law, which is
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intended to renew the 1962 media law. >> for those in the media industry, one of the most worrying aspects is a prison sentence of up to six months for publishers or journalists who break the rules and fail to pay fines. the loosely worded draft legislation would also ban materials that violate the military-backed constitution or right thing that could incite unrest. >> just as there are people for democracy in the forums, there are also people in the government i think who want to cling to the old system. because of those people who want to go backward, we are still faced with such issues. >> the media group feel so strongly about the bill that it hung a protest on its building -- a protest banner on its billing. >> is a big appetite for news and it is growing all the time. there are 130 weekly publications already, and the government has approved it
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licenses of private daily newspapers. >> the government argues that such a big increase in the short space of time requires some regulation, but it says a parliamentary committee looking at the law will make changes like removing prison sentences as punishment. it may also make some additions. >> they want to put one new we cannothich says apply this law to prevent freedom of the press. >> a court press council was set up last year to write a media law. it appears to have been sidelined by the government doesn't plan to devise its own legislation. that has left journalists and publishers feeling they have already lost
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